Thursday Salute to Originals: Re-Imagined Ceramic Shreds

Dutch artist Bouke de Vries reinterprets pieces of historic pottery in new sculptural creations.

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Broken plates, shattered vases, shards of glass — all types of fragile artifacts find new life in Bouke de Vries’ creations. Since transitioning from a career in fashion alongside the likes of John Galliano in the 1990s, de Vries has been restoring and transforming historic ceramic figures into new works of art.

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De Vries’ work with artifacts is unique in the field of ceramic restoration, challenging contemporary ethical dilemmas around the valuation of “imperfect” historical finds. Rather than choosing between repairing or discarding broken vessels, the artist will create something new.

“Instead of hiding the evidence of this most dramatic episode in the life of a ceramic object, he emphasizes their new status, instilling new virtues, new values, and moving their stories forward,” de Vries explains in a statement on his website.

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The ceramic object’s “new stories” will range from abstract, deconstructed forms to carefully placed petals and thorns in delicate porcelain rose.

This Thursday, we’re saluting the creative work and conservation projects of Bouke de Vries. His re-imagined ceramic shards have struck a chord around the globe, and in 2019 alone, his sculptures are on display in five major museums.

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You can learn more about Bouke de Vries on his website and remain up-to-date on current exhibitions on the artist’s Instagram.

Sources: Bouke de Vries, This is Colossal